Registration open for senior emergency preparedness event

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Senior citizens interested in learning the best ways to keep themselves safe are invited to attend Camp 9-1-1 on Sept. 12 in Reed City.

The one-day training course will provide seniors with readiness training for a variety of incidents and emergencies, beginning with a demonstration of the difference between emergency services in the 1950s and emergency services in 2012.

“It’s going to be the same (emergency) scenario, but back in the 1950s the hearse was the ambulance,” said Reed City Fire Chief Jim Decker. “Now we have a rescue squad that dispatch will call out and we will initiate patient care. They say that this is quite the eye-opening (demonstration).”

Following the opening activity, emergency personell will lead seniors through seminars and hands-on activities.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Department will bring their canine unit to the event and the Reed City Fire Department will demonstrate proper fire extinguisher usage. Representatives from the Reed City Department of Public Safety, Red Cross, Emergency Medical Services, Central Dispatch, Osceola County Commission on Aging and the 1016 Recovery Network also will present emergency preparedness topics to seniors.

“It’s good to help everybody prepare for emergencies,” Decker said. “People tend to get set in the ways of how they’re going to do things. We just try to touch base, and show them the correct way (to respond to a situation) and hopefully this is something they would retain.”

Seniors will learn about fire safety, fire extinguisher skills, ID theft, senior identity theft protection, disaster preparedness, communication during emergency situations, prescription medication safety, how to safely store and dispose of medication and calling 911 during emergency situations along with other demonstrations and exhibits.

Camp 9-1-1 will start at 9 a.m. on Sept. 12 at the Reed City Fire Department, located at 523 Morse Street in Reed City. The program will run until 3:30 p.m.

The program is produced by the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and a day session also was held in Mecosta County in July. Mecosta County residents who missed out on the program are invited to attend the camp in Reed City along with all senior citizens from the area. Organizers are hoping between 25 and 75 seniors participate in the event.

“There are going to be a lot of learning (opportunities),” Decker said. “It’s going to be an interesting day.”

A snack and lunch will be provided during the program. Seniors are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and shoes and non-senior caretakers or helpers also can attend the program with seniors. All participants will receive a certificate of achievement at the end of the day.

Interested individuals must register for Camp 9-1-1 by calling the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at (231) 796-4848.